Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Make Round beads from a Square Cane ... and other stuff

I am behind on my blogging again so please bear with me while I get caught up.

First of all this is the shelf above my work table... filled with things I like and goodies from my friends.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Here is a close up of "Clyde" my wee cow from Scotland and his wee turtle friend from Nevada.  How cute is that?  Do not look at the dust on the shelf..... Dusting is not my thing, I have more fun/important things to do.  

I am still working on the tutorial  "making new canes from old canes".  For some reason I keep messing up the photos.... but I did finish this small tutorial on  "How to Make Round Beads from a Square Cane".

The "new cane" on the left was made from the "old cane" on the right.  First reduce the cane to a 1/2" square.

Then condition a hunk of scrap clay, run it through the pasta machine on the #1 setting and use the next to largest Makin round cutter to cut out circles.  After much trial an error I came up with the correct ratio.  

Roll the circles into balls. 

Slice two pieces from the cane. 

Place the ball in the center of the cane slice and bring opposite corners up and gentle press in place.

Bring the other two corners up and press them in place making sure the corners are evenly placed around the center of the ball.

Place the other cane slice on top of the bead, fit opposite corners into the bottom cane slice and firmly press in place.

Fit the two remaining corners in place, pinch and smooth the seams together being careful not to distort the design.

Roll the beads in the palms of your hands until they are smooth with no seams showing.   The first bead on the bottom left needs a little more work, I see a seam, amazing how the camera picks up every flaw.  When possible I like to let my beads "rest" over night before I make the holes for stringing.

 And there you go... round beads from square canes.

Last time I was at Michaels I bought some of the store brand polymer clay, Craftsmart.  I thought I would give it a try as it is half the price of the other brands and it was on sale for an even bigger savings.  Couldn't hurt... right?

Here are three beads I made.  The white was dry and a little difficult to condition and the pink was quite soft. I made a "lacy" cane with the two colors and used it on the round beads.

 I made the tube bead from a striped cane with pink and light pink stripes.  The effect on the tube bead came about when I cut a strip of the striped cane and began twisting, because of the difference in consistence the darker color  reduced faster than the lighter color.

When cured, the beads are "dryer" and have a chalky look. The round beads are big, about the size of a quarter, often with other brands of clay this size bead will crack, these did not.  I haven't tried sanding yet and I haven't tried mixing with other clays.... so much to do, so little time!!

I have been doing  lots of sanding while waiting for my wire order to arrive. (It came today)  I ran out of amethyst wire while working on this necklace.  I like how it looks so far.

Close up of the wire and beads.  I like the look of the carnelian beads and small copper beads with the amethyst and amber wire.

Close up of the pendant. 

Close up of the wire curls with beads inside.

Now that my wire order is here I hope to get more pieces finished.

That's it for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mixing Wire and Polymer Clay

Before I show you my latest creations.... if you are into beading or even if your not, check out the cool beading book give away on Beadwright Blog. (There is link to her blog in my blog list) It's a lovely book and may entice you to try beading.   I have the first book by Sherry Serafini and I love it.  I must have this book so if I am not the lucky winner of this give away... (finger's crossed!!) ... once I stop pouting I will buy a copy.

Okay here are my new necklaces:

Click on the photos for a closer look

First is a polymer clay pod and leaf pendant to which I added a wire and bead leaf and made a chain with rainbow fluorite beads, lacy silver ball beads and bead caps and amethyst colored wire.


Next is a long focal mirror image  bead with a wrapped wire scroll at the top. It measures 5" including the scroll.  At the bottom I added a matching bead adorned with copper beads and wire.  I completed the necklace with copper chain... I may change that.  Heather likes the plain chain but I'm not so sure,  I think it needs something on the other side.  What do you think?

I also added wire elements to three polymer clay pieces  to make these brooches. The heart has a cutout in the upper left so by adding a cord it can be worn as a pendant. 

Heather needed coaster for her bedroom so she made these from clay she carefully sorted from the scrap bags.  I don't have the patience to sort through the colors, I like to squish and twist to make mirror images.  They turned out really nice and match her bedroom colors perfectly.  She really should do more with polymer clay, don't you agree?

 I'm working on more mixed media pieces but I ran out of the right colors and gauges of wire so I'm once again waiting on an order.  I am also working on a "New Canes from Old Canes tutorial".  Thought I was almost done but I'm not happy with the photos so I'm starting over. 

Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave comments or questions. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Polymer Clay Necklaces

Now that the dog is gone things have almost returned to normal.  Corny is back to her old self but Fritz is still a little nervous.... looks around corners and makes a mad dash for the basement if he hears the slightest noise.... .

Here is photo of Holly napping on the couch.... she is not suppose to be up there but her hips were hurting and she couldn't get comfy on the floor, I didn't have the heart to make her get down.  I have a throw on the couch because of the cat hair.  When I got my new couch the plan was to teach the cats to stay off of it... their plan was to ignore my plan..... guess who won.  So my pretty aqua couch is covered with a brown throw.

Corny was greatly relieved when Holly went home, and has return to her favorite spot on the back of the couch right above where Holly was napping.

Fritz usually naps  on the other end of the couch but he doesn't like the dog smell so he has exiled himself to the daybed in the backroom down stairs.  For some reason he always turns down the corner of the quilt, I guess it's more comfy that way.  Heather and I straighten it up when we clean the cat hair but he folds it down and curls up in the corner.  It is hard to get a good photo of a black cat. See the white toes on his back feet?

Now here are the necklaces:

First is a pendant I made a long time ago, I added the wire bail and strung it with  glass tube beads, round Kashgar garnet beads and copper spacer beads and a copper hook clasp. There is a Swarovski rhinestone in the center that doesn't show well in the photo.  I have a top the same shade of purple so I may have to keep this one.

Second is a pendant I made in february  during the Thing a Day challenge on PCC. I  made a woven wire bail and strung it on silk ribbon wrapped with colored wire.

Third is another pendant from the TAD challenge.  I used gun metal 18 gauge wire, black agate beads, yellow 28 gauge wire and yellow seed beads to make the links.

The next two are Kathi scrap pendants that I posted a couple weeks ago. I strung them on black buna cord.

I'm not sure when I made the pendant on this last one, last year sometime most likely. I used blue coin beads and carnelian beads on copper wire to make the links.

That's it for today.  Stay tuned for more necklaces, I'm on a roll.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Canes from Old Canes

I was rummaging around in my cane stash and decided to use some of the old canes to make new canes.

Click on the photos for a closer look... click twice for an even closer look.

I made these canes from an old cane that I've had for years.... it was one of the first canes I made using Fimo Classic.  Included in the photo is a pendant that I made from the narrow cane... as you can see Fimo Classic gets several shades darker when it is cured.

The two canes at the top were made from the cane at the bottom. I think I will reduce the one on the left and make another like the one on the right, then I can use them to make beads.

These canes were made by combining several flower canes. The flower canes were in the Trash to Treasure swap, I'm pretty sure most were made by Sue Castle.  In any event I think they made very pretty kali canes.

I have also been trying to learn how to Viking Knit with wire  I plan to somehow use this small piece with this pod pendant.  Viking knitting is fun to do once you get the hang of it but like everything I make with wire, it is very time consuming.  Maybe with practice I will get faster.

I finished several more necklaces but haven't taken photos..... maybe tomorrow. Right now it is past my bedtime.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Polymer Clay Heart Necklace & More

This weekend was the annual Street Art Festival on the Square in our little town. I went out early this morning and took lots of photos of the chalk art pictures.... I will show them to you later in the week when I've had time to do a little editing and pick out the photos I like best.

In the mean time here are necklaces that I manage to complete in the last few days.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

The first consists of mirror image hearts made with Valerie cutters and pink coiled wire bails.

At first I made wire links with black wire and pink square glass beads..... but I didn't like the look.

See, not good.  I wasn't happy with the black wire or the square beads.

So I took it apart, strung the beads on beading wire with pink cats eye beads, pewter color glass pearls and aqua blue seed beads for spacers.  I like it much better now.  This is the first time I've strung beads since my cataract surgery.... amazing how much easier it is when you can see the holes in the beads!!

The back looks pretty good too. I used silver clay with a textured pattern.

I used one of my many scrap pendants for this mixed media necklace. The links are rainbow fluorite beads on amethyst wire joined with copper wire rings. 

I used assorted tiles in fall colors to make this necklace.  The beads are hand sanded and buffed.  It's a little chunky but it looks nice on. 

I have more necklaces in the works. And I made some new canes from old canes that I want to show you. 

We are still dog sitting. Hubby had to work friday and last night so granddaughter Sarah let Holly stay at her house for a couple days, Holly is back with us today. Heather and family will be home tomorrow and poor Holly can go back to her normal routine, being away from home hasn't been any more fun for her than it has been for me and the felines.  All I can say is, if the happy campers know what is good for them they had better be bringing presents!!  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Polymer Clay Canes & Jewelry

Here are the canes I showed you yesterday

Click on the photos for a closer look.

And here are some of the pieces I made from the canes.

I will make a necklace with this set.

I will add wire to some of these and make either pendants or pins. 

Scrap pendants and a large chunky bead. 

This was a fun pendant to make... I used my new cube stamp for the leaf design and highlighted it with Perfect Pearls powder.  This is the first time I've used Perfect Pearl, I usually use PearlEx. I made the borders with my also new rollers from Walnut Hollow.  I made the embellishments with my ball stylus, it is one of my most used tools.

Here are the tools that I used on the above pendant.  

I used the end of the original flower cane for the center on this pendant. 

I am playing with my new cutters again.... I'll show you the results tomorrow. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Playing with my New Cutters & other fun stuff

Check out these new handmade cutters that I purchased from Valerie Wallace.  Val is a friend that I met on Polymer Clay Central , she has a shop in Scotland, Polymer , where she sells polymer clay, tools and accessories.

These little cutters are wonderful,  the seams are tightly soldiered so they make clean cuts. Both sides are sharp, I use a wooden block to push them into the clay.  To give you some idea of the sizes the largest square and circle is 7/8", the largest star is 2 1/2", the smallest star is 3/8", the largest heart 1 3/4" and the smallest 1/4".

Click on the photos for a closer look.... click twice for an even closer look!

Here are clay samples that I made with the cutters.   Most will be used to make earrings.

I layered these and will use them for pendants and earrings.

I love this necklace I made using the largest stylized heart. I combined it with a flower bead and colored wire to make the pendant. I am trying to decide if I like the copper chain... I may change it to satin cord in lavender or peach.

Here is a photo of the pinbacks with bails that I mentioned in an earlier post.  The goldtone  is 1" and the silvertone is 1 1/2".  I purchased these from Articus Studio owned by Corrine Byers.  I was pleased with the price, the shipping charge and the prompt service. 

I made these canes last week.

Tomorrow I will show you what I made with the canes. 

Thanks for stopping by.